Monday, March 12, 2012

Hi, I'm Kelsey and I'm a chick flickoholic.

I don't know when it started. I could blame Disney, perhaps (or credit them, I should say). But I am the biggest sucker for romantic comedies and love stories that you will ever meet. I was talking to my co-worker the other day about something cute my boyfriend did, and she interrupted me and said, "I bet you made that 'Oh!!' exclamation and put your hand on your chest." And that accurately describes my reactions to 99% of sweet things I see.

I watched My Left Foot the other day, starring Daniel Day-Lewis. Okay, okay, I know... I'm not off to a good start with this post because it's supposed to be about CHICK FLICKS. Obviously, that is not what this movie was. As IMDB summarizes, "The story of Christy Brown, who was born with cerebral palsy. He learned to paint and write with his only controllable limb - his left foot." So he went through all these challenges in life and it was very inspiring, but the very last part of the film informs the viewer that Christy married Mary Carr, his nurse, a few years later. That made me feel happier than if it was my birthday! And I love birthdays. My reaction was, "Best. Ending. Ever."

I recently went to see The Vow (I think we can all agree that that is definitely considered a chick flick), and cried/sobbed multiple times while watching it. I loved that it was based on a true story... Even when Rachel McAdams lost all recollection of being with Channing Tatum, they were still meant to be together and she fell in love with him again (uh, sorry, spoiler alert?). Except, you know, the REAL people that they were playing did, that is. Otherwise poor Jenna Dewan - she'd have to dance her way into another man's heart! Anyway, I had to look up the real story from Kim and Krickitt Carpenter (who the movie is based off of), and I was a little disappointed to learn that they got engaged only two months after they first met, and then got married three months later. No wonder she couldn't remember falling in love with him! But after that cynical thought, I jumped back on the "Awwww" wagon, just thinking about how romantic and sweet the story is. They stayed together and worked through the unexpected and unknown together, as husband and wife, and never gave up. Sigh.

When I saw Like Crazy in theaters a while ago (the DVD is out now...gotta get that one!), I loved how Jacob and Anna's relationship felt SO REAL. The fights, the passion, the "missing you" text messages... I felt like I was a fly on the wall of one of the most beautiful connections two people could have. It reminded me a little bit of Blue Valentine with Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams...except more hopeful and much sweeter. I'm not so much of a silly girl that I don't think there's ever struggles or problems for two soul mates, but I'm a firm believer that two people who are meant to be together can make it through anything at all. Hopeless romantic, right here.

Relationships like the ones between Landon Carter and Jamie Sullivan, Noah Calhoun and Allie Hamilton, Drew Baylor and Claire Colburn, Holly Golightly and Paul Varjak (movie version, of course), Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater, Jesse and Celine (no last names in Before Sunrise, apparently), and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley completely represent the connections I wish every person could feel with another. Undeniable chemistry, opening themselves up to learning something new or taking a chance... it's all so wonderful. And perfect pairs are difficult to find! You can date a lot of duds before finding the right one, that's for sure, but once you meet him or her? You just know. Well, unless you're Holly Golightly and have to listen to a speech about how you build a cage around yourself which is why you don't get close to anyone or name your cat, before you realize you're ready to fall in love. That can be cute, too.

Romantic comedies are my favorite, and it's not just because in almost every single one there's a scene where rain is pouring (which is the epitome of sweetness - "I love you even in stormy weather." Aww.) I think it's because they show two people who don't expect to fall in love or don't expect anything better to come along or don't expect that they'll find true happiness, and then we get to follow them on their journey - when they start doubting and when they start trusting, when they realize they've found "the one" and don't know how to react...but mostly because they show that no matter how alone someone may feel inside their own world, there's another person out there who can understand them better than they can understand themselves and show them what life is really all about. It makes the single viewers feel like they're about to turn the corner in their own future love story, and the viewers who are in relationships feel so lucky for knowing they're just as happy as the lead characters. Unless they're not, of course, which is an awkward moment.

Okay, side note: I also love chick flicks for the quirky best friend who's always just hanging out being awesome. Best part of Failure to Launch? Zooey Deschanel as Kit: "What the hell kind of devil bird chirps at night?" Another BFF I got a kick out of? Mindy Kaling as Shira in No Strings Attached: "We're sluts, Emma! We're dirty dirty sluts!" It's my goal in life to be told, "Hey Kelsey, you know what? You're like that quirky best friend in a romantic comedy." Best. Day. Ever.

Basically, chick flicks give you goosebumps and make you tear up and sigh and put you on a crazy love rollercoaster, even if you know the formula (girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl makes out with boy as the credits begin to roll). They make you smile and warm your heart and make you want to go to a local coffee shop for some hot chocolate where you'll accidentally bump into a dashing gentleman who compliments you and apologizes for being in the way, and then sits down next to you and asks, "What are you reading? Oh! I love that book!" Then, proceeds to tell you that he's close to his family, loves his cat, wants 2-3 kids, and noticed that there's a great Thai food restaurant nearby, would you like to continue your conversation over some fried rice? ... Did I take it too far? But it really does leave you feeling hopeful and happy - like everything is going to be okay, no matter what.

So here's to your very own love stories... And they all lived happily ever after. The end.

"I'll be famous someday, I promise!"

When I was younger, all I wanted was to be famous. I'd write stories about Native American tribes that I thought were worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. I didn't just play with my Barbies, I directed them. Was Dad bringing out his camera today? I'd be ready in a pose. Did I want to be on video? I'd slop makeup all over my face and act out a ridiculous scene, just so I'd be on tape. I remember going shopping with my mom, and I'd sing little songs as I twirled through the aisles - every step I took and note I made, I was sure I'd be "discovered." I was prepared for anything.

Plus, I was bold. On the first day of Kindergarten, I came home from school and explained to my mother in an as-a-matter-of-fact way, that I'd be calling a girl from my class, Rachel. I decided we would be good friends, so I rang her up. I signed up for the school talent show in third grade, and when my BF Wesley (good, strong name) told me that my friend Kristen sang her part way better than me (it's true, she has the voice of an angel), I kicked him to the curb. Or did he just move away?... Anyway, I remember kicking him to the curb. I signed up for a dance/cheer program in 5th grade and shook my thing (the little thing that it was) to "Pretty Woman." I wore a pink boa. In 10th grade I was on the cheer squad, but I wasn't chosen to do a really cool stunt for our next competition. So at our basketball game that night, I whipped it out for the first time with 3 girls who wanted to help me out and was filled with pride when I was soaring in the sky and saw my coach's astonished face. I could've fallen on the gym floor, but in that moment, I didn't care.

I graduated high school and moved to New York City two weeks later, not knowing a soul. Now, I've almost been here three years and I've never regretted a minute of it. But it's easy to get discouraged when you're around so much talent and competition day in, day out. I work hard, am happy with my job, but I picture myself a few years from now and sometimes it scares me to be so uncertain. I was so in control when I was growing up, and as I continue getting older, I find that my loyalty to commitments and responsibilities has hindered my freedoms. So which is more important?

At six years old, I was hopping on my brand new bike, racing down the dirt road and feeling the wind in my hair - without a care in the world. Now, I'm just shy of 21 and I hop on the subway at 7:30 each and every morning for an hour and a half commute. When I feel something in my hair, I panic that it's a subway rat. But here's the catch: I'm living out my dream job - working for a magazine. I've met the man of my dreams who makes me feel like the most incredible woman in the world. No, my name isn't in lights - but I still have the stars in my eyes when I think about everything I'd like to accomplish in time, by working hard. Realism doesn't have to be negative, it just means that I have to work harder, that when I fall down and cut my knee, I won't bawl for my mom (OK, maybe I'll still cry - let's be serious!), I'll pick myself up, dust myself off, and learn something new about myself, like how much I can handle. It means that instead of singing and dancing through department stores, I'll put myself out there in other ways, like writing articles and trying out crazy fashion trends and not being afraid to say hi to the person next to me on the street (Hey, some people in NYC still totally freak me out!). I'll take realistic risks and challenges every single day and get "discovered" by truly finding myself.